Teams

Spain squad now to be vaccinated for covid-19

The earth-shattering news of Sergio Busquets' positive covid-19 test caused a number of aftershocks on Monday, and as the ground realigns itself under the feet of the Spanish national team, we cross our fingers that there is no major damage. For now there hasn't been one. No other positives have yet been reported but, needless to say, it was a nervy day with some fearing a 'Fuenlabrada impact’, that massive contagion that threw everything upside down on the final day of the Segunda division a year ago. The bubble has been reinforced, training is done in sections, distances are being kept and there is an understandable silence. "You could hear a pin drop," someone told me from inside the camp.

Re-selecting a squad

With Sergio Busquets already isolated at home, Luis Enrique has called up Brais Méndez, Fornals, Carlos Soler, Rodrigo Moreno and Albiol. None of them are lined up to replace Busquets. That remains to be seen. For the moment, they have been called up just in case it needs to happen. Luis Enrique has until Saturday at 9 p.m. to formally replace Busquets if he decides to do so, and whoever else that may also be infected, hopefully none of them. No matter the changes, he’ll not be able to go over his initially chosen squad size of 24. All the other national teams decided to use the maximum 26 allowed.

Vaccinating the bolted horse

The Under-21s have been brought in and locked away, having been released after Thursday's defeat by Portugal. They will be used for Tuesday’s match against Lithuania, which will count as an official international for their trophy cabinet, and will carry a financial bonus to any of them who have that built into their club contract. Also today, in a barn door locking, horse bolting type way, everyone close to the squad - players, coaches and assistants - will be vaccinated. It's a pity this wasn't decided earlier, like it was with the Olympians. We would have spared ourselves this embarrassment, one we hope does not grow. We have reached the point when we are selecting a holiday destination. This has been very badly timed.